Commonwealth Games 2022: Cannock Chase set to host mountain bikers
Some of the world's best mountain bikers could be skidding around Cannock Chase after Birmingham was chosen as the UK's candidate city to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The second-city beat of competition from Liverpool to be put forward to host the lucrative event and will now go up against Canada and Malaysia.
Even though the Chase strictly lies outside the Birmingham border bid chiefs confirmed in June that the Staffordshire beauty-spot would was included in the city's proposals.
The country park has proved its pedigree in hosting major biking events having seen thousands of cyclists complete a 56-mile route of the terrain as part of the last two Ironman events.
George Adamson the leader of Cannock Chase District Council said: "This is excellent news for Cannock Chase if we get to host part of the Commonwealth Games it will certainly help raise our profile.
"I would imagine Birmingham would be favourites for it so it is really great news.
"It has already proven itself a great place for big sporting events but every weekend there are dozens and dozens of cyclists on there. It is just a great place to ride a bike"
Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader Gill Heath added: “It is great news that Birmingham has been selected as the UK bid by the Government to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games as the whole region would benefit.
"Cannock Chase is a nationally acclaimed location for mountain biking and would be an ideal venue for the Games’ event.
"We could potentially be once again seeing leading sports men and women coming to the county and giving us another opportunity to showcase Staffordshire internationally.”
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has backed Birmingham's bid. It will now have to go before the Government to approve it and underwrite the costs before organisers can persuade the Commonwealth Games Federation the city should host it.
The event is up for grabs after Durban was stripped of hosting duties.
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said: “I am grateful to the bid teams from both Birmingham and Liverpool for their hard work in making the case for their respective cities as potential Commonwealth Games hosts.
"Now, after a comprehensive assessment process, the government will look at the final bid proposal from Birmingham and decide if a formal bid will be submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation.
"We need to be completely satisfied that the bid offers overall value for money from hosting the Games and that a strong economic and sporting legacy can be delivered from it.
“The UK has fantastic expertise in hosting the biggest events in sport, as recently showcased at the London 2017 World Para Athletics and IAAF World Championships, and if we are to bid and are selected to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 I have no doubt that Birmingham would put on an excellent sporting spectacle.”
Chief Executive of Commonwealth Games England, Paul Blanchard, added: "A Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022 will deliver a lasting sporting, cultural and economic impact not just for the West Midlands but the country as a whole. I am sure that Birmingham could stage a fantastic Games, showcasing not only the West Midlands and a whole of the UK but the Commonwealth movement as a whole.”